I want to read 50 books this year. 50 books in 2014. This will sound lofty to some, like a cakewalk to others. But to me, 50 books is not just a reading goal. It is a hope, an expectation, a command.
Because 50 books means time.
It means quiet nights and calm moments and uninterrupted routines and no series of unexpected events to take me away from my bed in the evening and a book on the nightstand, or my couch on a quiet afternoon.
It means the people I love are safe and happy and healthy and secure. It means nothing is keeping me from the pages of a book when the pages of a book are what I set aside time to be with.
Of course I can’t predict the future any more than I could have predicted the past. It makes every bone in my superstitious, fate-tempting, Jewish body buzz with anxiety to even begin to speak about tomorrow’s happiness (I can hear my mother’s voice, warning, “We make plans and God laughs), but how can we embrace a new year without believing that it will be joyful? That it will bring good health and success and happiness and time for 50 books?
I watched 2013 wreak havoc on people I love, and for them I wish 50 books in 2014.
2014 will also be the last year I spend in my 30s, and while I don’t dread 40 (why would I? In my head I am a constant 25), I am aware of time’s passage, of a gentle urgency of my goals and an adjustment of desires.
We don’t want things to stay exactly the same, but we aren’t courting any big changes, either.
So on this peaceful, snowy day, the first of the new year and one of the last before I turn 39, I’ll put aside the resolutions and the regrets, the worries and the wishes, and hope simply this year, for 50 books.